Position 1

Latitude 51° North Longitude 1° East. :Distance 300 miles. Rating :- Deck Hand

Weather: Cloudy
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds SSW

Ramsgate: You have just left port and are currently off Ramsgate sailing as a deck hand, There has been a promise of extra grog should you encounter rough weather in the "Bay" and you have been told to watch out for the Bo'sun as he's always in a bad mood while going down the channel.

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Position 2

Latitude 49° North Longitude 5° East: Distance 600 miles: Rating:-Deck Hand

Weather: Squalls in the offing
Visibility: Cloudy, Fine and clear
Winds -Wind force 7- mainly SWbyS

You are just about to enter the Bay of Biscay, The weather is getting a little rough, the bosun seems to be coming out of his bad temper and has taken you off the dog-watch. You are now on day work although you know you will have to "turn-to" during the night if the weather changes.

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Position 3 

Latitude 44° North Longitude 10° West: Distance 900 miles: Rating:-Junior Ordinary Sailor

Visibility: Some mist, down to 5 miles
Winds Force 7-SSE-SSW

You have managed to leave the Bay of Biscay behind. The bosun disappeared during the night while reefing in sails. The captain has decided that it was too risky to turn back to look for him due to the weather. It was a well known fact that the bosun couldn't swim and like the sailors of old kept his pockets full of nails to ensure a quick death should he fall out of the rigging. There was a simple service and the usual hymn followed by a round of grog in a toast to the man.

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Position 4

Latitude 38° North Longitude 9° West: Distance 1,200 miles: Rating:-Junior Ordinary Sailor

Weather: Overcast with heavy cloud
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds East-Force 6

You are off the coast of Portugal, home of Vasco De Gama "The Navigator" the greatest explorer that ever sailed the seas.The captain has pulled in to the coast a little to confirm his noon sight and you can "smell" the land, some of the old hands are saying. Tomorrow you will be asked to prove you can reef a sail and do a short-splice to gain your ordinary sailor rating.

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Position 5

Latitude 28° North Longitude 15° West: Distance 1,500 miles: Rating:- Ordinary Sailor

Weather: Clear and bright
Visibility: Fine and clear to horizon
Winds Force 4-ESE changing to Trades later

You are approaching the Canary Islands. On your starboard-side you can just see the craggy outline of Fuerteventura one of the volcanic islands in the Canary group. There is rumour that pirates use the small islet of Lobos, to the north of Fuerteventura, and they sometimes attack passing ships. However, this is not worrying you today as you attained the rating of Ordinary Sailor, even if you didn't know how to make a cannon-ball hitch (the new bosun said it wasn't a knot that was wanted in these modern sailing clippers).

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Position 6

Latitude 26° North Longitude 12° West: Distance 1,800 miles: Rating:- Ordinary Sailor

Weather: Cloudy but Bright
Visibility: Fine still clear
Winds Force 4-Trades running SSW

Just North of Cape Verde Isle. One of the crew has been taken ill and today you had to stand watch as well as do day-work. The captain did mention something about "short-hand" money but the crew said he's never paid that out to anyone before and it's more likely that he'll promote someone to take the man's place or hire a man from Cape Verde.

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Position 7 

Latitude 22° North Longitude 19° West: Distance 2,100 miles: Rating:- Able Bodied Sailor

Weather: Cloudy-heavy towards the coast
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 4-South by East a point East

Well they made you an "AB" after all but perhaps it was a "dead-man's-shoe" job. Wilkinson was quite ill so the captain had him put ashore at Cape Verde and you got his job because the locals refused to sail with this captain as he has a reputation of being a "blue-noser" from Boston. That doesn't worry this crew as this voyage is around The Cape of Good Hope and doesn't go near Cape Horn.

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Position 8

Latitude 9° North Longitude 18° West: Distance 2,400 miles: Rating:- Able Bodied Sailor

Weather:Clear Skies
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 2-South

You are off the coast near Sierra Leone. This port was an old favourite with some of the crew and yet they all seem to be quite happy to stay at sea. Considering the tales you hear about the port and the way the crew talk of the good times they had there you wonder why they don't consider "jumping ship" and going ashore. However, as the shore is some 30 miles away it wouldn't do them much good. So, to the shrill crys of "Maggie May" from the top men, you keep an eye on the weather and stay your watch on the wheel. Another stint on the wheel for your steering certificate; some help from the "chippy" and you could make that petty officer grade.

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Position 9

Latitude 0° North Longitude 10° West: Distance 2,700 miles: Rating:- Petty Officer

Weather: Clear Skies
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force- variable 1-2- mainly SW

Well you made Petty Officer, not surprising when those three sailors stole a boat to go ashore. It was a fool-hardy trip, 50 miles in shark-infested water with little or no knowledge of the reefs off Cape Blanc. The captain was angry that he had to look for them. However, his anger turned to real grief when he saw the remains of the boat. What shocked you was the "chippy" had been with them. This is truly a "Dead-man's-shoe" company. The captain has made you the carpenter and you've got the job of polishing a hatch-cover while the sailmaker stitches up the remains of the three cadavers to slip into the water. A strange day, in the morning a funeral and in the afternoon the "Crossing-The-Line" ceremony where you were duly shaved and anointed by "Neptune". This took on a macabre element as "Neptune" had spent the morning stitching up corpses.

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Position 10

Latitude 8° South Longitude 3° West: Distance 3,000 miles: Rating:- Petty Officer-Carpenter

Weather:Clear Skies
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Some not on the scale-SSW- Doldrums

Petty Officer you may be but carpenter you are not, according to the crew. The weather is swelteringly hot and there is no breeze to speak of. This isn't surprising in the Doldrums, it often rains and then the rain steams off the deck making it even worse. The crew asked you to construct a swimming pool on deck using hatch boards and a canvas awning. The theory was good but you should've shored up the sides a little more. Now half the crew are after your blood and the other half are trying to dry out the foc'sle. Maybe you should consider that offer from the captain to become a "Middy" or Apprentice Deck Officer. What do they say about "Middys", the lowest form of marine life?

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Position 11

Latitude 15° South Longitude 5° East: Distance 3,300 miles: Rating:- Apprentice Deck Officer

Weather: Clear Skies
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 3- Steady at SW

You are off St Helena Isle, not much to see except sea. You made the move from the foc'sle to become a Midshipman. Lets face it you had to, the place was still swimming in water and the crew were getting quite nasty. This promotion is not all you thought it would be. You still have to keep a watch and work with the crew. They don't seem to think you need sleep. The food is better and they are teaching you navigation, ship-contruction, cargo-stowage and a whole host of things that any sleepless "Middy" would enjoy. Watch out for that 4th Officer though, he seems to have a mean streak, the crew have nick-named him "Captain Blyth".

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Position 12

Latitude 22° South Longitude 12° East: Distance 3,600 miles: Rating:- Apprentice Deck Officer

Weather: Clear Skies-some sqalls
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 2-3 at SSW

You are crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, you know this from the navigation lesson you had this morning as it was clearly indicated on the chart. You drew the 4th officer's attention to this, and the fact that the water in the "heads" now spiralled clock-wise ( a thing he hadn't noticed). The captain seems to have taken a liking to you and seems to prefer your noon-sight to the one the 4th Officer gave him. However, he has taken note of the 4th's position and adjusted course accordingly, even though your position (given above) was sixty miles closer to the South African coast.

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Position 13

Latitude 33° South Longitude 18° East: Distance 3,900 miles: Rating:- 4th Officer

Weather: High Altitude Cloud
Visibility: Fine some haze
Winds Force 4-steady Southerly

Surprise, surprise, they made you 4th officer. Well it wasn't as much of a shock as the captain got at 2 a.m. when the look-out reported the "loom" of a light on the port bow. According to the 4th officer that light-house was fifty miles out of place! The "old man" was rather annoyed and suggested the 4th should take some "study-leave" when we stopped at Cape Town for stores. This may mean the ship will be short-handed as the second mate's planning to get off there too.

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Position 14

Latitude 33° South Longitude 27° East: Distance 4,200 miles: Rating:- 4th Officer

Weather: Low cloud
Visibility: Fine bright and clear
Winds Wind : Force 3- white horses- possibly5- South by West

Nearest large land mass is S.A. The chart shows Madagascar coming up but you won't see it: it's too far North. There was a bit of a mix up in Cape Town. The second mate's relief didn't show up and he left the ship with the fourth officer while the captain was ashore talking to the agent. The Captain didn't check the crew as he wanted to catch the tide and you left port short-handed. It's been promotions all around in the foc'sle; the bosun's now the chippy and the cabin boy's been made a deck-hand. Maybe the "old-man" will do something about the lack of Mates but he seems to spend a lot of time sitting in his cabin now.

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Position 15

Latitude 30° South Longitude 38° East: Distance 4,500 miles: Rating:- 3rd Officer

Weather: Line-squalls about
Visibility: Fine- some spray
Winds Force 6 and increasing-Due West- steady

Madagascar's to the North, You've been promoted to third officer by the first mate. The Captain hasn't left his cabin for days. There's no doctor but the chief steward said the "old man" seems to have "Black-Water" fever. You heard him ranting last night and the dog watch says he came on deck and talked to a life-boat davit at about 3. am! Seems this trip's making everyone a little crazy, the first mate just made the sailmaker fourth officer!

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Position 16

Latitude 20° South Longitude 57° East: Distance 4,800 miles: Rating:- 3rd Officer

Weather: Some light rain in 12-4 watch
Visibility: Fine- some spray- ship pitching- noon sight by Dead-Reckoning stellar pos. later if clear.
Winds Force 6-7- Due West- steady

Somewhere in the Indian ocean, this trip is getting to be an adventure into the great unknown. Last night there was lightning and the top of the masts glowed. The old hands said it was called St Elmo's fire but the young deck hand on the 8-12 watch with you was scared out of his wits. Speaking of wits it seems the captain has lost his, last night he came on deck and started to climb the rigging after the "fire". The first mate has assumed command and had the "old-man" locked in his cabin till further notice. The noon position was taken from the Traverse table as the ship was pitching far too much and you couldn't hold a sextant steady. You're hoping for a calm night so you can get a "fix" from the stars.

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Position 17

Latitude 18° South Longitude 70° East: Distance 5,100 miles: Rating:- 2nd Officer

Weather: Light cloud
Visibility: Fine and clear- good position today
Winds Force 4-North by East

Passing Rodriguez Isle, not much to see, just a spot on the chart, not visible from the ship. The first mate has taken on the captain's role and started moving people up through the ranks. The captain's not much better, keeps asking for his dog? The second mate's now doing the first-mate's watch as the first-mate seems to think he won't have time. They've moved you to the second-mate's watch (and rank) so you now work the 12-4 watch, it's not an easy one as you have been used to the 8-12.

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Position 18

Latitude 17° South Longitude 80° East: Distance 5,400 miles: Rating:- 2nd Officer

Weather: Possible Monsoons
Visibility: Fine and Hazy
Winds Force variable 3-5-North

In the Indian Ocean, "Water water everywhere" so the poem goes. There is some difficulty with water on the ship and you have had to organise a gang to rig awnings to catch rain. It's quite normal to do this, saves carrying extra stores and slowing down the ship's progress. However, you cannot count on the Monsoons and sometimes it's possible the ship will reach Java on rations. The second officer is complaining about the "dog-watch" (the first-mate's) watch, He's refusing to do it as he thinks the company won't allow the mate to make the promotions. He says as an East-India tea clipper you should call in at Bombay and get the company to sort out the problem. The first mate thinks you should "plough-on" to Foochow.

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Position 19

Latitude 12° South Longitude 97° East: Distance 5,700 miles: Rating:- !st Officer

Weather: Light cloud covering
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 6 falling-North

Nearing Cocos Isle. You've been promoted to First mate! You could see this coming, as the second mate wanted to go back to his watch, no one likes the 4-8 and 4 o'clock in the morning is a terrible time to come on deck and get a face full of salt-spray. So the "Captain" has told the Second mate he can step down and you've been given the dubious honour of being the "Mate". This does mean you have to "tell the crew off" to do their various tasks. This is no hardship, as you've done most of them yourself from "holy-stoning" the decks to "splicing braces" in rough weather. The new "captain" seems to spend most of his time revelling in his post and making silly demands on the stewards. He seems convinced that the "old man", who is now abed and very sick, has written a letter about him to the company.

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Position 20

Latitude 6° South Longitude 106° East: Distance 6,000 miles: Rating:- !st Officer

Weather: Heavy cloud covering
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 4-still-North

Nearing Djakarta. Some of the old hands are telling stories of Krakatoa and how they were in the South China Sea when it blew. The ship is awash with stories of tidal waves and jinxes. The first mate (now acting captain) is acting quite oddly. Last night he came on deck at 4 a.m. and asked if you had seen "the letter". His behaviour is beginning to worry the second mate. The second mate thinks the "absolute power" is going to the first mate's head and he's asked you to "keep a watch" on him.

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Position 21

Latitude 10° North Longitude 110° East: Distance 6,300 miles: Rating:- Master (acting)

Weather: Light cloud
Visibility: Fine and hazy
Winds Force 3-4 -North by East

You're in the South China Sea, this place is reputed to be full of pirates. This won't bother you as you are running empty with a little Dutch pottery for ballast. The ship is really under the command of the second mate as he has seen fit to have the first mate relieved of duty. He got you and the other "acting" officers to sign a document declaring him "mentally" unfit for duty as he had sent a deck hand to the fore-top as a punishment. That sort of behaviour went out with "Billy Bud" and the crew were almost ready to "strike" (they wouldn't use the term "mutiny" as it's a company vessel and that would involve the navy). The result was the second mate was almost forced to relieve him of command. The second mate has reluctantly taken on the first officer's duties and due to your popularity with the crew (they've forgotten the swimming pool) you've been chosen as acting master.

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Position 22

Latitude 23° North Longitude 120° East: Distance 6,600 miles: Rating:- Master

Weather: Scattered cloud
Visibility: Fine and clear
Winds Force 1-2-West

You are passing Formosa (Taiwan) soon and the ship's crew are looking forward to a spot of shore leave in Foochow. The captain seems to have recovered, that's more than can be said for the first mate he's taken to rambling in his sleep and seems obsessed with trying to find "the letter". The captain's still in his bunk and quite happy to let the second mate run things for him till you enter port. He is concerned, however, as to how the pilot's going to be able to record the ship's docking in Foochow as the port authorities need the signature of an "Extra Master".

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Position 23

Latitude 23° North Longitude 120° East: Distance 6,600 miles: Rating:- Extra-Master

Weather: Light Cloud
Visibility: Fine and hazy
Winds Force 4- North by Noth West- Port of Foochow

Well you made it. Foochow harbour, the Cutty Sark is already here and quite a few other memorable names seem scattered along the waterfront loading chests of tea. The captain was still too sick to come on deck for entering port and so the second mate took up his position aft for mooring while the "acting" first mate took station in the bows. This left you on the helm, with the harbour pilot who assumed you were the captain. After the customs officials had left and the harbour master came aboard you signed all the documents as "Extra Master" and hoped it wasn't noticed. Your excuse was that most of the documentation was in Chinese anyway. Well done, it's been a long voyage, you managed to pull through and kept your head. Speaking of heads, the second mate is still looking for "that letter".

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